Plus the excellent Scherzer acquisition, and Pujols retiring
A lot to cover today so let’s dive right in…
- We haven’t heard anything definitive yet but I have to agree with Brandon Scott at Bleacher Report. He thinks Albert Pujols will hang up his jersey after 2021. If the Dodgers go on to win it all this year, I think he’s right. If they don’t, I think Pujols may have a harder time with that decision. Either way, the lack of an announcement doesn’t scream that it’s not coming, but rather that Pujols is doing his thing — focusing on his contribution to his team right now. Pujols has cemented his legacy at the Dodgers already, and it’s a great bookend to a remarkable career however the rest of the season goes.
- Whether you buy into the stats or just believe in the game, here’s something to keep you sweating through the next 11 days: 538 has the Dodgers and Giants tying the season at 104-58 apiece, headed straight for that tie-breaker game at Oracle Park.
- And then, Jared Diamond has more at The Wall Street Journal on what happens after the regular season when either the Dodgers or the Giants have to play against an “inferior” team: The Latest Dodgers-Giants Rivalry: To Avoid the Wild-Card Game. This may be the last year of this particular wild-card format, and Diamond offers some possible alternatives that may come up in negotiations this winter.
- More on the NL West race from Fabian Ardaya, Grant Brisbee, and Andrew Baggarly at The Athletic: NL West roundtable: How the Giants and Dodgers look heading into their last 12 games
- I don’t know about you but I haven’t yet tired of reading about how great Max Scherzer has been as a Dodger (or that he seems pretty great off the field, too). His excitement — nay, preference, sorry, Padres — in joining the Dodgers organization certainly hasn’t hurt with his new fan base either. Scherzer says of the Dodgers:
“Great group of guys. Great clubhouse chemistry. So this is more a product of their clubhouse and what they’ve built that’s made it as easy as pie for me to come in here.
Jorge Castillo at the LA Times has more on Scherzer’s move: A trade for the ages: 37-year-old Max Scherzer has been the perfect fit for Dodgers
- Houston Mitchell at the LA Times has a new issue of Dodgers Dugout out with legendary Dodger, Maury Wills. Wills answers questions on not being in the Hall of Fame (yet), stealing bases, and having teammates back you up. On the Giants watering down the base path to stop Wills from stealing bases:
“I was flattered that they would go through all that trouble to try to stop me. Base stealing is another sport all by itself. A game within a game. I was the mouse and the cats were trying to get me.”
Also an interesting stat as we hear about Max Muncy’s semi-slump: he’s got more go-ahead hits than anyone else on the team at 24 (Right behind him? Will Smith of course). Here’s hoping Muncy figures out soon what was working earlier in the season. Also no go-ahead hits from pitchers this year, not surprising, but what if the baseball gods align so that Scherzer gets one this year?